Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Spain’s growing appetite for success

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Spain’s victory in the European Under-21 championship on Saturday provided further evidence that the Iberian nation’s pre-eminence in world soccer may continue for some time yet.

Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara’s audacious 40-metre freekick sealed a 2-0 final victory over Switzerland in Denmark and the side’s performance throughout the tournament had Spain’s senior team boss Vicente del Bosque purring with satisfaction.

“The championship proves what a great moment Spanish football is in,” said the man who led Spain to victory in the World Cup finals in South Africa last year.

“They have done excellent work and there is no doubt that the next generation of players is in great shape. It’s nice to know that when the moment arrives we will be able call on them.

‘Great Captain’ looks to inspire River Plate troops

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Daniel Passarella, known as the “great captain” as a player, donned his track suit as he went shoulder to shoulder with his River Plate team preparing for the biggest match in the club’s 70 years of professional soccer on Sunday.

River have played and won South American and world club finals, been crowned Argentine league champions a record 33 times and provided more players to the Argentine national team than any other club.

Villas Boas ticks all Chelsea boxes except top prize

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By Shrikesh Laxmidas and Daniel Alvarenga

Unlike his mentor Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas Boas does not have a Champions League title on his resume as he moves to Chelsea but he ticks every other box on the London club’s wishlist.

The 33-year-old’s short career — which spans just 20 months as head coach — and lack of Champions League experience means he is a gamble for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, for whom clinching Europe’s top club trophy seems to have become an obsession.

Do Barca really need to splash out on Cesc?

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Iain Rogers in Madrid looks at the latest round of speculation over the future of Cesc Fabregas and classy Mali striker Frederic Kanoute’s decision to play on at Sevilla for one more season.

Do Barca really need to splash out on Cesc?

The annual ‘will Cesc Fabregas leave Arsenal and return to Barcelona’ media machine has been cranking into gear in recent weeks and the man himself showed up in Madrid last week to present a new fragrance at a trendy art gallery near Atocha railway station.

Velez Sarsfield’s claim to being Argentina’s sixth big club

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By Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires

River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing Club and San Lorenzo are Argentina’s Big Five clubs.

Until Estudiantes became the first club outside the elite Five to win a league title in 1967, no other team had lifted the crown since in the professional era began in 1931.

Spain’s annual coaches cull

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Mark Elkington in Madrid discusses Spain’s coaching musical chairs, looks at this week’s second-division promotion playoff between Elche and Granada and quotes a succinct summing up of the situation in La Liga given by Levante president Francisco Catalan.

Spain´s annual coaches cull

Spain´s young unemployed, known as ”los indignados” (the indignant) have occupied the squares of the country´s major cities recently to demonstrate against the government´s welfare cuts and a lack of opportunities.

The unbearable lightness of being – or how a thin piece of synthetic cloth can become a lead weight

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By Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires

Argentines often talk about how heavy a particular football shirt can be, River Plate’s, Boca Juniors’ or Argentina’s.

“La camiseta pesa” (the vest weighs (a lot).

This is what is happening to the players of River Plate, one of Argentina’s “Big Two”, who could be relegated for the first time this month.

Future looks bright for ambitious and deep-pocketed Malaga

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Iain Rogers in Madrid looks at Qatari Sheikh Abdullah al Thani’s ambitious plans for Andalusian club Malaga and an impressive victory for Spain over United States that underlined the world champions’ strength in depth. 

Future looks bright for ambitious and deep-pocketed Malaga

It’s been a long road back since they went into voluntary administration in late 2006, but for Malaga the future looks extremely promising.

Grondona faces trouble at home

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By Rex Gowar
River Plate’s dire relegation situation is the principal talk of Argentina’s TV soccer chat shows, a bigger story than the crisis at FIFA where Julio Grondona, in power since 1979 and fending off corruption allegations, said he will seek yet another term in office as president of the Argentine FA.

River president Daniel Passarella – who like Michel Platini has occupied most of the top positions in the game: club skipper, national captain lifting a major trophy, national coach – attacked Grondona after his team’s defeat by Boca Juniors in the “superclasico” over his appointments of match officials. Passarella said it was a disgrace the number of penalties the referee, who was not suspended, had missed in the Boca box.

Xavi’s Wembley tears turn to triumph

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Iain Rogers in Madrid muses on the brilliance of the peerless Xavi and Real Madrid’s decision to hand more power to coach Jose Mourinho at the expense of sacked director general Jorge Valdano. 

Xavi’s Wembley tears turn to triumph

Lionel Messi rightly grabbed most of the headlines for his latest European masterclass in Barcelona’s 3-1 Champions League final humbling of Manchester United on Saturday.

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